The sobering implication of the five NSA Power Point slides released by the former Booz Allen employee Edward Snowden as well as other whistle blowers indicate that all of the following have been compromised by the NSA: cell phone communications, web browsing, site content, email, banking, online accounting, investments and social media. This is provided both directly by PRISM through: Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL, & Apple; as well as through direct collection of communication data through the backbone of the internet itself via Upstream. Additionally, it would be wise to consider that most if not all Certificate Authorities are also compromised so SSL based trusted communications should be considered wide open too.
Basically, the list of online activities open to NSA and their contractors is virtually endless. So it is now perfectly reasonable to consider that any and all digital communications you make are compromised.
Additional information, that you may want to consider available to the NSA includes your physical location over time, personal computer/cell phone contents, cell phone microphone, camera and GPS, webcams and network security data. And of course, it is also perfectly reasonable to assume that any and all of this has been used to create a highly detailed profile of you, your family and your business, which can be made available to anyone with sufficient security clearance at a moments notice.
Now, what are the implications for people like you and me? Not much really, any and all personal communications through a digital medium are accessible to somebody: ISP’s, banks, credit card companies. Your browsing history, social media contacts etc. have been mined for years by private companies. This isn’t new. What is new however, is the ability for a select few to access all of it and collate it into an intelligent whole.
So what does this mean for those who attract the attention of someone with access to this sort of technology? Well, here the situation begins to look pretty, damn, bleak. The ease and opportunity this sort of omniscience provides is simply too tempting for many to pass up… blackmail, corporate espionage, intellectual property theft, attacking political enemies, preemptive action against dissent, character assassination, good ol’ fashion stalking… Got a personal vendetta? No problem, frame them, and drain their bank account while your at it. The world is your oyster.
Imagine that you are a highly intelligent college drop out working for Booz Allen. But, unlike the protagonist in our story you are not motivated to sacrifice your life in order to see to it that the 4th amendment to the constitution doesn’t become completely irrelevant in the 21st century. No, instead imagine that you, like many of the other estimated 5 million people in this country with a high security clearance simply want to make “a little” more money besides the $200,000 a year salary and bonuses you are currently making.
If you’ve got access to this sort of tech, Congratulations! You have just hit the Jackpot, and as long as you’re discreet (and I believe that is something the NSA is suppose to be fairly good at) you have, the greatest source of insider information on every Fortune 5000 company in existence. And here is the best part, there is absolutely no way for the SEC to trace the information to you, and if by some miracle they did, it would crime for them to prosecute you since it would violate the State Secrets Protection Act.
So kid, your future is so bright, you’re gonna need shades.
As it stands now, only five slides have been published and they are, to put it lightly, Explosive…. The really scary thing to consider is that the remaining unpublished 41 slides are much worse.